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BDS316
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 09/16/09

Loc: Sol 3
NEAF observations...
      #5815000 - 04/22/13 11:02 AM

This was my third NEAF.

The first thing I noticed was the relative lack of decent quality budget eyepieces. I was looking for some outreach eyepieces like Sterling plossls, Paradigms, expanse clones, but none to be had.

The other thing I noticed was some new competitiors in the premium dob arena. Rob Teeter revealed his 10 inch travel dob, and Gordon Waite announced that in addition to mirror making, he has now thrown his hat into the telescope making business. And New Moon Telescopes displayed some pretty scopes as well. hopefully some competition will be a good thing for us consumers.

Speaking of us consumers, the demographic at this year's NEAF was overwhelmingly males in the 45ish and above age bracket. Very few kids and very few ladies. Kind of makes me concerned about the future of our hobby.


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hfjacinto
I think he's got it!
*****

Reged: 01/12/09

Loc: Land of clouds and LP
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: BDS316]
      #5815007 - 04/22/13 11:07 AM

I had my kids there

Most kids where in the kids corner, but this hobby tends to be 45 and older. Look at astronomy clubs, most are older males.


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dawziecat
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: Rural Nova Scotia
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #5815018 - 04/22/13 11:14 AM

Quote:


Look at astronomy clubs, most are older males.




But why is this so?

I fell head over heels into astronomy when I was 10 years old. Why are today's ten year olds not blown away by the universe as I was when I was a kid too many years ago?

When I did my graduate degree in astro, a third of the small class were female. Where are the ladies?


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hfjacinto
I think he's got it!
*****

Reged: 01/12/09

Loc: Land of clouds and LP
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: dawziecat]
      #5815047 - 04/22/13 11:37 AM

Actually professionally, a lot of ladies are at work. Go to the universities and as many females as males are professionals, our club has lots of female members, but when it comes to gear, I see the guys going nuts.

We had a professional astronomer talk at our club and the funniest comment she made is "I have never looked through a telescope". You would assume she did, but she gets images downloaded for her by a telescope operator, so maybe its a gear thing.


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Pinbout
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: hfjacinto]
      #5815080 - 04/22/13 11:52 AM

Quote:

but she gets images downloaded for her by a telescope operator, so maybe its a gear thing.






it's a visual observer thing...while we are outside in the cold dark lonely nights poking our eyes into telescopes trying to squeeze out all gathered light to discern any detail in those faint fuzzies, they're home drinking hot chocolate dreaming of romance.


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bierbelly
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 01/23/04

Loc: Sterling, VA
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: BDS316]
      #5815087 - 04/22/13 11:56 AM

Quote:

This was my third NEAF.

The first thing I noticed was the relative lack of decent quality budget eyepieces. I was looking for some outreach eyepieces like Sterling plossls, Paradigms, expanse clones, but none to be had.

The other thing I noticed was some new competitiors in the premium dob arena. Rob Teeter revealed his 10 inch travel dob, and Gordon Waite announced that in addition to mirror making, he has now thrown his hat into the telescope making business. And New Moon Telescopes displayed some pretty scopes as well. hopefully some competition will be a good thing for us consumers.

Speaking of us consumers, the demographic at this year's NEAF was overwhelmingly males in the 45ish and above age bracket. Very few kids and very few ladies. Kind of makes me concerned about the future of our hobby.




Actually, when I went last year as one of the classic telescope displayers, my impressions of NEAF were disappointing. It seemed geared to UBER-HIGH-END stuff, with very little that even I, who makes decent money, could ever consider buying.

I guess it's a chance for those high-end manufacturers to show off their stuff for the likes of S&T and Ast. magazines to write articles on. I have a hard time believing that a young man with children, unless he's a trust-fund baby, could find much there to take home.


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Pinbout
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: bierbelly]
      #5815097 - 04/22/13 12:01 PM

Quote:

Actually, when I went last year as one of the classic telescope displayers, my impressions of NEAF were disappointing.




last year was disappointing.


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jrcrillyAdministrator
Refractor wienie no more
*****

Reged: 04/30/03

Loc: NE Ohio
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: bierbelly]
      #5815331 - 04/22/13 01:59 PM

Quote:

I guess it's a chance for those high-end manufacturers to show off their stuff for the likes of S&T and Ast. magazines to write articles on. I have a hard time believing that a young man with children, unless he's a trust-fund baby, could find much there to take home.




I've made the 500 mile drive each year for ten years to see the show. It is, and always has been, largely a trade show; a venue for manufacturers across the globe to show (but not offer for direct sale) what they can do and are doing. Think CES. On the other hand, in recent years there have also been numerous dealers offering onsite sales of gear at levels of more general interest, both new and used, making the show attractive to a much broader audience. Such dealers were very busy this year, as in previous years.


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Pinbout
Postmaster
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Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5815660 - 04/22/13 04:34 PM

it would be nice to have the wall where the gallery was as swap tables.

the gallery was nice for a brake in the visual noise of booth after booth, but it would also be nice to have a dedicated area for swapping.

how many posts in the classifieds do you see, will deliver to NEAF?

how to impliment that is a different story. can't have everyone driving up to the loading garage door.


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rodney
Vendor - Explora Dome
*****

Reged: 03/08/05

Loc: Asbury, NJ
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: Pinbout]
      #5815971 - 04/22/13 06:12 PM

Personally, after 7 years at this show I noticed a large number more kids and women than in previous years.

Brian, I agree 100%, I did notice that most bigger dealers had very limited inventory on hand. I spoke to a few vendors and the general premise was that the economy would not allow them to trek truck loads of stuff on a hope and a prayer it would sell.

Explora Dome could have brought two truck loads of domes. Odd year.

Clear skies,


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George N
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/19/06

Loc: Binghamton & Indian Lake NY
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: Pinbout]
      #5816060 - 04/22/13 06:32 PM

My impression was that attendance was a little down on Saturday, but much higher on Sunday (compared to the last few years). Perhaps that was because the solar viewing weather was better on Sunday? There were fewer solar scopes, but the views were spectacular.

The speakers were great – at least the one’s I saw. I thought that the talk by “Dr. John M. Grunsfeld, NASA Science Director & Astronaut” was one of the best I’ve ever seen. He is an astronomer who knows what amateurs are up to, and talked mostly about the Hubble repair mission that he was on. I liked Tony Flanders’ talk, and later mentioned to him he should change the title to “Science and astronomy thru time: the last 2000 years”. He agreed that that would be a snazzier title. I attended Al Nagler’s talk on choosing eyepieces. He offered some new info, like he *does* have a Dob, he *does* read CloudyNights, and “the sellers hate me when I say this, but you really only need a few eyepieces. With an SCT you only need two…..” Pluto Killer (aka Dr. Mike Brown) gave a very interesting key-note talk, laced with lots of humor, including saying he was changing the title to “Pluto is still dead, and that’s a good thing”. Finally, there were many thousands of dollars of great stuff in the raffle (none of which I won).

If anything “NEAF pricing” was the best I’ve seen. One general store vendor offered 20% off - no tax, and the others soon followed. I have to agree that this was one of “the best” years for NEAF, and I’ve been to nearly all.

BTW, I saw a number of low-end eyepieces at at least two vendors – things in the sub $50 range. One vendor was selling Ethos at their cost!


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DonsDob
member
*****

Reged: 05/21/12

Loc: CT
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: George N]
      #5816197 - 04/22/13 07:34 PM

This was my 2nd NEAF. Last year, I enjoyed it but was a little disappointed as a "novice" that there were few binoculars and no 8" dobs on display. Not so this year! Plenty of binos (thanks Oberwerk, Woodland Hills for the Canon IS,and others) and plenty of affordable dobs. THe retail sellers were quite busy and I bought from three. The Sunday solar was great and the speakers I heard were worth the time. Thanks RAC (even thou I won nothing - as usual)

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DonMendoza
member


Reged: 01/23/12

Loc: Greensboro NC
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: DonsDob]
      #5816322 - 04/22/13 08:40 PM

This was my first. I'm very happy I went. I brought my son-in-law and we had a great time on Saturday. I bought 5 mm 58 deg Olivon eyepiece based on a review I read here. So far, I got it on the moon later that night and Jupiter too and based on that, it was a very good buy. Tony Flanders was great but I got side tracked and didn't make Al Nagler's. We couldn't stay til Dr. Grunsfeld, but I do plan to return next year.

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Doc Willie
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 03/31/10

Loc: Mid-Hudson Valley, NY, USA
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: DonMendoza]
      #5816363 - 04/22/13 08:59 PM

Seemed to me smaller: less crowded, fewer vendors. In addition to Astronomics, I noted the absence of Orion, Normand Fullum, Charlie Bates, and the Night Sky Network. I still had a good time, put in some volunteer hours, picked up most of what I had come to shop for (oh, and just one thing more [SkyFi from the Sky Safari people]), and picked up plenty of outreach materials for the club.

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Pinbout
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: Doc Willie]
      #5816372 - 04/22/13 09:05 PM

Orion wasn't there last year either.
Charlie bates is tight with lunt and lunt is tide with allen, who doing the other show now. its curious, but probably just a coincidence.


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AstronomicsAdministrator
Vendor if you must, AKA The Mighty Kong.
*****

Reged: 06/07/04

Loc: Right Here
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: DonMendoza]
      #5816373 - 04/22/13 09:05 PM

An effective 28% off is a great deal. Our normal margins sit in the 12-15% range based on volume.

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gatorengineer
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 02/28/05

Loc: Hellertown, PA
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: Astronomics]
      #5816447 - 04/22/13 10:06 PM

No Astronomics (very disappointing), no Markus Ludes (or I missed him), very limited Explore (certainly no explore 82 degree eps), No Normand Fullum, and worst of all No cloudy nights, no giant dobs....

Very dis-organized entry this year at the open, and lets face it $20 is steep in this economy....

The tone seems to be more make money for the club, than promote the hobby, which is well............


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Pinbout
Postmaster
*****

Reged: 02/22/10

Loc: nj
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: gatorengineer]
      #5816469 - 04/22/13 10:19 PM

Quote:

no giant dobs....




its the second year GreatRedSpot.com didn't show...they must of finally sold that thing.


Quote:

Very dis-organized entry this year at the open, and lets face it $20 is steep in this economy....





that's cause they're working a new electronic system.


Quote:

he tone seems to be more make money for the club, than promote the hobby, which is well............




to say they're collecting money then promoting the hobby well that's totally off base.

they're just trying to stay alive when traino left after last year. so I'm told there's no handbook on how to run NEAF and allen was the only one who ran it since the beginning till last year.


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amicus sidera
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/14/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: jrcrilly]
      #5816531 - 04/22/13 11:01 PM

Quote:

I've made the 500 mile drive each year for ten years to see the show. It is, and always has been, largely a trade show; a venue for manufacturers across the globe to show (but not offer for direct sale) what they can do and are doing.




Must respectfully disagree with your assessment here, John, as I feel that NEAF was not always what it is today. I remember when it was in the Suffern Holiday Inn in the early 1990's, and it bore little resemblance to a trade show... it was much more personable and intimate back then (as was amateur astronomy in those days, I believe).

In the past ten years, yes, that is pretty much what it has become, in my opinion, so we agree on that.

Fred


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AstronomicsAdministrator
Vendor if you must, AKA The Mighty Kong.
*****

Reged: 06/07/04

Loc: Right Here
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5816766 - 04/23/13 02:26 AM

We would have loved to have made the trip, but timing was not in my favor this year. I just hope everyone had a grand time and got everything they wanted and expected from the show.

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Chucky
sage
*****

Reged: 04/16/10

Loc: Dublin, Ohio
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: BDS316]
      #5816955 - 04/23/13 08:06 AM

<< overwhelmingly males in the 45ish and above age bracket. Very few kids and very few ladies. Kind of makes me concerned about the future of our hobby.

Pretty much always been like this and I don't see it changing. We've lasted this far and things seem ok to me.


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Chucky
sage
*****

Reged: 04/16/10

Loc: Dublin, Ohio
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: dawziecat]
      #5816957 - 04/23/13 08:07 AM

<< Why are today's ten year olds not blown away by the universe as I was when I was a kid too many years ago? >>

For many, the reason might be called 'Light Pollution'.


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Thomas Karpf
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 02/09/09

Loc: Newington, CT
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: gatorengineer]
      #5816988 - 04/23/13 08:30 AM

Quote:

no giant dobs....




For some of us, 20" is giant, but my biggest is only 8".


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amicus sidera
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/14/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: Chucky]
      #5817051 - 04/23/13 09:25 AM

Quote:

<< Why are today's ten year olds not blown away by the universe as I was when I was a kid too many years ago? >>

For many, the reason might be called 'Light Pollution'.




This.

Also:

Quote:

<< overwhelmingly males in the 45ish and above age bracket. Very few kids and very few ladies. Kind of makes me concerned about the future of our hobby.

Pretty much always been like this and I don't see it changing. We've lasted this far and things seem ok to me.





Indeed, the future will take care of itself. This concern is often voiced regarding many hobbies that appeal primarily to older men.

If the large numbers of individuals currently involved with amateur astronomy dwindle considerably in the future, whether due to the demographics of age or simply massive light pollution over heavily-populated areas rendering the stars invisible... what of it? There will always be those who develop this interest regardless, and if the numbers of those currently enjoying the avocation indeed crater, there will be a glut of used instruments and accessories to service the needs of the remaining enthusiasts. No harm, no foul, save for the fortunes of the equipment manufacturers.


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AstronomicsAdministrator
Vendor if you must, AKA The Mighty Kong.
*****

Reged: 06/07/04

Loc: Right Here
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5817140 - 04/23/13 10:28 AM

It also effects the companies that sell to this hobby as well as this website. So you all better hope that the hobby doesn't die as everything will go with it.

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spsesq
super member
*****

Reged: 06/04/11

Loc: New Jersey, USA
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: Astronomics]
      #5817252 - 04/23/13 11:27 AM

This was my first NEAF, although I have been in the "hobby" since I was a kid. I had a great time, met some wonderful people and saw a lot of new stuff that I can scrimp, save and hope to buy. I did spend about $1,000 total and got everything I needed ("needed" was a word my wife didn't use)

Just a couple thoughts from a 50 year old male, husband and father of a 17 year old son. All three of us went to NEAF this year.

As to why there are only 45-50 year old males in the hobby, my observations are as follows: 1) 45-50 year old males were the 5-12 year olds from 1969-1975 when Apollo was all the rage. That's how I got into astronomy at a young age; 2) the 45-50 year old men and women are the ones that can afford (even in this economy) to spend discretionary dollars on telescopes and associated equipment. I am not paying for the same things I did when my son was 7-16. I am finished spending dollars on baseball and sports equipment, I am not traveling all over the state for Baseball tournaments and coming home exhausted and too tired to go outside to observe, there are no more birthday parties, Confirmation, sweet 16 or Bar Mitzvah gifts and parties; 3)45-50 year olds now "make time" for our hobby. 10 years ago my son was 7, baseball, soccer, birthdays etc took up all of our time. Now that he is 17, more independent, allowable to go places on his own, there is more time for my wife and I to relax, sit outside with the scope on a nice night and observe. familial obligations change in your late 40's and 50's. That is just the cycle of Life today.

As for today's kids not getting into the hobby, I don't blame light pollution, I blame Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, and Atari (and us for buying these things for our kids). When we were kids we went outside day and night. We played ball, ran around and would come inside until called by Mom. We were outside in the summer and gazed upwards at the sky all the time. I am lucky in that my son is a science and math kid. He played high school and travel baseball, other sports and is going to college next year for aerospace engineering, but he got interested in astronomy through my and my wife's interest. Nevertheless, he and all his friends still spent hours that could have been outside stargazing playing Xbox, Playstation and Nintendo. I think that's evident in looking at the size of our biggest trade show NEAF v. Comic Con and CES.

Just my opinion as a father...


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kenrenard
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 12/13/12

Loc: Dunmore, PA
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: BDS316]
      #5817255 - 04/23/13 11:29 AM

This was our first trip to NEAF. I have some impressions from myself and my daughter whom is almost 7.

I understand this is mainly volunteer's and I know they try their best. However, there was little in the way of activities for kids. My daughter was bored in about an hour. The kids booth had little to do. Crayon's and glitter glue only last so long. Young kids need to be kept active. She met another girl and they were asking about the indoor playground which we were told wasn't going to be there.

Al Nagler was very nice to my daughter spoke with her at her level let her touch everything in the booth and even took a picture with her. What a great guy.

My daughter did grind a telescope mirror which she liked and I thank the group who allowed her that priviledge. I liked looking at all of the stuff although quite a bit was out of our price range of folks who stargaze and are fairly new.


Ken


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amicus sidera
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/14/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: Astronomics]
      #5817390 - 04/23/13 12:49 PM

Quote:

It also effects the companies that sell to this hobby as well as this website. So you all better hope that the hobby doesn't die as everything will go with it.




I do not believe that it will ever die out completely, but even if interest in it almost disappears nothing will go with it that countless amateurs cannot live without, as they did for decades prior. It will once again become a niche interest. The stars will remain.

That said, amateur astronomy does not appear to be in the slightest danger of losing adherents for the foreseeable future... it is vibrant and growing, notwithstanding the average age of its demographic.


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csa/montana
Den Mama
*****

Reged: 05/14/05

Loc: montana
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5817477 - 04/23/13 01:23 PM

Quote:

Quote:

It also effects the companies that sell to this hobby as well as this website. So you all better hope that the hobby doesn't die as everything will go with it.




Quote:

I do not believe that it will ever die out completely, but even if interest in it almost disappears nothing will go with it that countless amateurs cannot live without, as they did for decades prior.




Yes, we all can live without CN; but do we really want to? CN is the glue that holds the interest of thousands of members, while promoting astronomy tirelessly. Without the discussions, assistance, etc., you would see many, many members lose interest in astronomy.


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amicus sidera
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/14/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: csa/montana]
      #5817546 - 04/23/13 01:58 PM

Quote:


Yes, we all can live without CN; but do we really want to? CN is the glue that holds the interest of thousands of members, while promoting astronomy tirelessly. Without the discussions, assistance, etc., you would see many, many members lose interest in astronomy.




I think that by the time CN has ceased to function, amateur astronomy would be on its last legs, so no worries...

It's important to keep in perspective that, while CN is a wonderful and valuable venue, it is at its core a social gathering. This is in sharp contrast to the manner in which the majority of astronomical pursuits by amateurs are pursued: in a solitary fashion. Not every amateur needs to have their astronomical interests stoked by social interaction; many, likely the majority of observers worldwide, have little or no need of a forum like CN to maintain their interest. Everyone marches to a different drum.

Younger observers just coming up rely more heavily on forums like this one, as well as social media, to obtain information and create friendships, so CN looks to have a promising future. Old guys like me are more prone to hang around to answer questions, solve problems and argue with anyone who'll listen about the good old days...


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okieav8rAdministrator
I'd rather be flying!
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Reged: 03/01/09

Loc: Oklahoma!
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: spsesq]
      #5817553 - 04/23/13 01:59 PM

Quote:


As for today's kids not getting into the hobby, I don't blame light pollution, I blame Microsoft, Sony, Nintendo, and Atari (and us for buying these things for our kids). When we were kids we went outside day and night. We played ball, ran around and would come inside until called by Mom. We were outside in the summer and gazed upwards at the sky all the time.




I agree 100%. Kids are more withdrawn into today's electronic gaming and social media world.

About a year ago, my nephew called me over to his computer to show me something "really cool"--Google Sky. "Isn't that cool Uncle Rex? Now you don't have to go outside to look at the stars!".


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amicus sidera
Post Laureate
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Reged: 10/14/11

Loc: East of the Sun, West of the M...
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: okieav8r]
      #5817605 - 04/23/13 02:11 PM

Great anecdote, Rex! A fair percentage of young people have chosen to live in a virtual world, preferring it to the real one just outside their door. Yet another seduction via technology that does not bode well for the future...

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Jim Lafferty
Carpal Tunnel


Reged: 06/30/07

Loc: Southern California
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: amicus sidera]
      #5817726 - 04/23/13 02:59 PM

With regard to the women in the hobby---go solar! They love it AND they get to see you at night!

Jim


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REC
Post Laureate
*****

Reged: 10/20/10

Loc: NC
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: Astronomics]
      #5818003 - 04/23/13 05:09 PM

Hopefully your group will be there next year:)

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Fred1
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 09/19/07

Loc: Somewhere in the Orion Spur
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: Jim Lafferty]
      #5818009 - 04/23/13 05:12 PM

Far too many "exhibitors" in the free raffles. They were there at Astro-Physics, Stellarvue and OPT that I saw, shamelessly dangling their exhibitor tags standing with the unwashed anxiously awaiting the drawing. I guess I don't mind them being in a free raffle as much as I mind them actually winning one or even several (yes, I enter them all).
Every time I see an exhibitor win a free raffle I think that some kid (or maybe even me) would have had their number pulled out of the hat instead. There should be a rule similar to those contests where employees and their relatives can't enter.

Edited by Fred1 (04/23/13 05:21 PM)


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George N
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/19/06

Loc: Binghamton & Indian Lake NY
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: Doc Willie]
      #5818491 - 04/23/13 07:29 PM

Quote:

..... In addition to Astronomics, I noted the absence of Orion, Normand Fullum, Charlie Bates, and the Night Sky Network. ....




Astronomics: already discussed at length.

Orion: Has, to the best of my memory, only been at NEAF one year, not sell anything, but to show off some new prototypes. Considering all the guff they got from folks right here on CN, I'm not surprised that they have not returned.

Normand Fullum: Do we still allow French Canadians into the country???

Charlie Bates: Much of his funding for his solar out-reach comes (came?) from NASA. Can you spell "sequestration"? My club has been told by NASA that all speaker requests are up-in-the-air right now.

Night Sky Network: They were suppose to be here? One of their two 'operatives' just retired and NSN also "lives" on NASA out-reach funding, which has been cut.


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George N
Carpal Tunnel
*****

Reged: 05/19/06

Loc: Binghamton & Indian Lake NY
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: bierbelly]
      #5818511 - 04/23/13 07:37 PM

Quote:



Actually, when I went last year as one of the classic telescope displayers, my impressions of NEAF were disappointing. It seemed geared to UBER-HIGH-END stuff, with very little that even I, who makes decent money, could ever consider buying.

I guess it's a chance for those high-end manufacturers to show off their stuff for the likes of S&T and Ast. magazines to write articles on. I have a hard time believing that a young man with children, unless he's a trust-fund baby, could find much there to take home.




Gee.... I had a friend who finally has a few free bucks, and he bought a nice Celestron C-6 on GoTo mount with two eyepieces for something like $650. That's a pretty good telescope for a price that is lower, in real dollars, than astro gear has ever been.


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hopskipson
Pooh-Bah


Reged: 06/24/10

Loc: Queens, New Yawk, Light pollut...
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: Fred1]
      #5818532 - 04/23/13 07:51 PM

This was my second NEAF and I noticed a big difference from last year. I went on Sunday afternoon because of the weather and my schedule. The solar party was smaller than last year which I attributed to it being late. The attendence seemed lower but again it was 1:30 when I got there. The biggest dissappointments were no Astronomics and no ES trailer. It not being so crowded did make it easier to talk to vendors.
I made the mistake of bringing my small children. It was mentioned that there was to be an obstacle course for the kids. They were bored and the kids corner closed early. It made for a very frenzied buying spree by me with many sour looks from my wife. I did get most of what I went there for and got more info on future purchaces.
I think kids these days just have too many electronic distractions. If you want them to be interested you have to show them you're interested. My 7 year old wants to do everything his dad does.


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George N
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 05/19/06

Loc: Binghamton & Indian Lake NY
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: Jim Lafferty]
      #5818535 - 04/23/13 07:52 PM

Quote:

With regard to the women in the hobby---go solar! They love it AND they get to see you at night!

Jim




About a quarter to a third of the members of my astro club are female. They are more interested in the science and observing, and not gear. While you may hear the guys talking about which eyepiece is providing the best performance, the girls are all talking about what's in the eyepiece, how cool it is to see, what it really is, how far away it is, etc. The ladies are interested in astronomy, but they not gearheads. They are not really concerned with having the best scope on the field. It just has to work OK.


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George N
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Reged: 05/19/06

Loc: Binghamton & Indian Lake NY
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: George N]
      #5818561 - 04/23/13 08:07 PM

One of the reasons for the amateur astronomy community’s high number of middle age men is that over the last 10 to 15 years a new group has been coming into the hobby that is in that age demographic. These are the technocrats: MDs, scientists, engineers, whose kids are out of the house, and who are no longer healthy enough for ‘extreme sports’, and such. They are looking for a cool new hobby that fits in with their technical skills, and they have found it: CCD imaging! Many of the imagers I’ve run into were not into astronomy as a hobby before the CCD, computers, GoTo, drew then in. Their interest in visual observing is often limited.

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gatorengineer
Carpal Tunnel
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Reged: 02/28/05

Loc: Hellertown, PA
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: George N]
      #5818583 - 04/23/13 08:27 PM

Well, with ISON just a few months away, this could / may be the biggest thing to happen to the hobby since hubble..... Hopefully it will get some interest going nationally, and get the schools thinking scientifically instead of socially.

NEAF is what NEAF is, and has become, but our local club is now standing room only at meetings, which is a good thing (LVAAS)....

Gear is as cheap as it ever has been. New products however have largely dried up, even though vendors like Explore are hitting home runs, they cant seem to fill their orders....

I wish Astronomics the best and hope they make it next year, and again want to thank them for this site.


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PF9000
member


Reged: 05/11/11

Loc: NJ
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: gatorengineer]
      #5818838 - 04/23/13 10:54 PM

This was my third NEAF. My first one was about 15 years ago. My second one was two years. Not sure why I missed all those intervening years. Especially considering I live in NJ only about a half hour drive from the show. What got me there this year was the desire to get up close and personal with the Celestron AVX mount. When I went by the Celestron booth they didn't have it plugged in. I asked if they could hook up the Powertank so that I could play with it. They did it ASAP. The reps were friendly and helpful. The only problem was that the rep who was demonstrating it for me said the Dec motor hadn't been working all day for some reason. The reason, as I quickly and politely pointed out, was that there wasn't any dec cable present. The dec motor wasn't plugged in! All day mind you. I can only hope this lack of product knowledge was do to a lack of sleep. On the bright side, I loved the mount. It was smoother and quieter than I expected. In fact, this may be the mount that finally gets me into computerized astronomy after all these years. In any event, I'm fairly certain that I'll be back at NEAF next year. Love looking at all that high end equipment I'll never own. :-)

Paul


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bierbelly
Postmaster
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Reged: 01/23/04

Loc: Sterling, VA
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: okieav8r]
      #5819979 - 04/24/13 02:54 PM

Quote:

About a year ago, my nephew called me over to his computer to show me something "really cool"--Google Sky. "Isn't that cool Uncle Rex? Now you don't have to go outside to look at the stars!".




Well, at least it's never clouded over...

Edited by bierbelly (04/24/13 02:59 PM)


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jturie
super member
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Reged: 11/19/12

Loc: Valley Forge, PA
Re: NEAF observations... new [Re: George N]
      #5823137 - 04/25/13 09:05 PM

Quote:

One of the reasons for the amateur astronomy community’s high number of middle age men is that over the last 10 to 15 years a new group has been coming into the hobby that is in that age demographic. These are the technocrats: MDs, scientists, engineers, whose kids are out of the house, and who are no longer healthy enough for ‘extreme sports’, and such. They are looking for a cool new hobby that fits in with their technical skills, and they have found it: CCD imaging! Many of the imagers I’ve run into were not into astronomy as a hobby before the CCD, computers, GoTo, drew then in. Their interest in visual observing is often limited.




George, you hit it right on the money, at least for me. I've always been interested in Astronomy, and had a telescope from age 12 to age 20. Then college, work, marriage, kids, bills, and life in general got in the way. I am an engineer by degree and an IT guy by profession. Just got a telescope this past Christmas, joined my local club, and am having a ball. All this at age 58.

I also think it's my revolt against the Internet and the world of computers and insipid Television. It's incredibly enjoyable to sit out in the dark by myself or with like-minded people just enjoying the simple show.


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